A Southern Grace: pickle it all!

August 24, 2016

pickle it all!


I've been a quick-pickling machine this summer! Cukes, zukes, squash, carrots, and onions--nothing is safe!

I wish I had more exciting recipes to share, but my pickling method is pretty simple and straightforward. Fortunately (and yet a bit unfortunately), our garden has been producing at a rate slow enough that I can just make refrigerator pickles rather than processing the jars to make them shelf stable. We go through the pickles pretty quickly, so they're fine for a short stint in the fridge.

Cucumbers are the obvious choice for pickling, though last summer was not a pleasant cucumber pickling time. I actually did process some of the jars and ended up filling 15 quarts or so. Much to our dismay, the pickled cucumbers turned to mush pretty quickly and were just inedible. Of course, there are lots of reasons that might have happened, but we're pretty sure that we had just chosen the wrong cucumbers to grow for pickling purposes--they were big and seedy and just couldn't take the brine.

Last year we ended up with more tomatoes than we knew what to do with, and this year, that honor falls to jalapeno peppers. I'm sure they'd be easy to slip into lots of recipes, but they are HOT. HOT, I tell you. I finally decided to try pickling some to see if that would mute some of the heat. It didn't really, but at least they're preserved for the time being.

My favorite pickle so far has been yellow squash with rosemary. Thinly slicing the squash makes them really easy to eat and allows them to soak up that rosemary-flavored brine! I loved these, but fair warning: My husband said the smell of these reminded him of formaldehyde. So your mileage may vary.

Pickled Jalapenos
(printable recipe)
Makes 1 pint
  • 15 jalapenos
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
Wash jar thoroughly in warm, soapy water.
Wash and dry the peppers and trim off the stem ends. Take out the core and some of the seeds, if you desire.
Thinly slice the peppers, about 1/4-inch wide.
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil, add the sliced jalapenos to the pot, pressing them so they are submerged under the pickling liquids.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the peppers sit for 10-15 minutes.
Pack the peppers into the jar and pour in the brine, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe rims and apply lids and bands (don't screw them on too tightly).
Let the jars cool before putting them into the refrigerator.
Let pickles rest for at least one week before eating.

Pickled Squash
(printable recipe)
Makes 2 quarts or 4 pints
  • 2-3 yellow squash (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider or distilled white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary or thyme
Wash jars thoroughly in warm, soapy water.
Wash and dry the squashes and trim off the ends.
Thinly slice using a mandolin (be careful!).
Combine vinegar, water, and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Equally split the dried herbs between jars.
Pack prepared squash slices into jars as tightly as you can without crushing them.
Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe rims and apply lids and bands (don't screw them on too tightly).
Let the jars cool before putting them into the refrigerator.
Let pickles rest for at least one week before eating.


Angie Schneider said...

I personally like simple and straightforward recipes. Your pickled peppers look really great, Grace.

Lisa Pietsch said...

Great recipes!
What did you do with last summer's pickles? Did they have enough consistency to make relish or were they a total wash? Losing pickles makes me sad :-(

grace said...

@Lisa: They were totally soft and gross. It made (and still makes) me very sad indeed.

Pam said...

What a bummer about last year's cucumbers/pickles. I love pickled jalapenos and never thought to make them myself. The thinly sliced squash sounds tasty although I am not a fan of the smell of formaldehyde. ;)

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I just hate it when I love a recipe and my husband doesn't. Always causes me to second guess myself, and then I have to go out and get a second opinion. I enjoyed the jalepenos I pickled last year, though I'm the only one who eats them, so I probably will skip it this year. The rosemary squash sounds interesting. May have to work on my squash cutting technique! Hamburger dills are on my agenda for tomorrow. They are soaking now!

Barbara said...

Sorry things didn't work out last year, but the pickled yellow squash is looking great. Never would have occurred to me to use yellow squash. Lets hope your husband changes his mind when they're ready to eat!
Am impressed with your gardening and pickling, Grace!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I do love a pickle.

Carolyn Jung said...

You are brave to pickle a bunch of jalapeno peppers. Whew -- I can imagine the heat and the hit of tang. But I bet they would be awesome on a burger or sandwich.

Królowa Karo said...

I think, they are great! I love it!

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

Grace, this post made me laugh, dear! I love jalapenos and the hubs and I garnish all kinds of weird dishes with them. I've made candied jalapenos which I need to post about soon, but I've never pickled them. As a jalapeno lover, I'm glad to have your pickling method!! :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I'm hoping that time will mellow our jalapenos. Hoping, but if they are still hollering hot, I'll just be eating them by myself! Like the idea of your pickled squash, and it looks so pretty sliced the way you did it. Hoping my husband won't agree with yours on the aroma :)